Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 23, 2009

For Release: Immediate
Press Contact:
Eileen Larrabee
Dan Keefe

State Parks Announces $3.3 Million For Recreational Trails

Funding Supports Trail Expansion and Improvement Projects Across New York

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash today announced $3.3 million in grant awards for 32 trail-related projects around the state as part of the federal Recreational Trails Program.

"New York's expansive trail system offers four-seasons of recreation for all who live and visit our great state," said State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash. "Through these grants, New York will help connect people to the spectacular scenery and wide open spaces across the Empire State, while helping to improve the quality of life and economies of host communities."

New York has one of the most expansive trail systems in the nation, providing public access to the many natural resources across the state. The trails, which lead through public and private lands, are developed and maintained by state and local municipalities and motorized and non-motorized trail group volunteers.

"Trails are a key asset to New York, providing multiple benefits," said Robin Dropkin, executive director of Parks & Trails New York. "They encourage people to be more physically active, protect our air, water and wildlife, provide close to home recreation, and bring tourists and visitors to communities. As big parcels of land get harder and harder to come by it's time to turn more attention to greenways and trails—as green swaths of protected open space in their own right and enhancements to and connections between larger parcels of open space.

"New York's many trail user groups appreciate the opportunity to apply for these awards bi-annually, which enable them to complete projects on trail systems statewide," said Anne M. O'Dell, chair of the New York State Trails Council. "Many groups could not otherwise afford to complete these projects without the Recreation Trails Program. For snowmobiling in particular, these projects will greatly increase the safety and continuity of the statewide snowmobile trail system."

The grants will be used for such projects as creating new trails, improving trails, providing connections and purchasing equipment. Trail development plans must emphasize providing access for people with disabilities and minimizing environmental impact.

State Parks administers the federal matching grant program providing funding to state and local governments, not-for-profit organizations, corporations, and partnerships for the maintenance, renovation, development, acquisition and construction of trails and trail-related facilities. Funding is provided through the Federal Highway Administration's Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). 2009 Recreational Trails Program Award Recommendations are:

Albany County
Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve, Inc. $49,220
A six-mile wilderness footpath and cross country ski trail will be created to connect the historic district of Rensselaerville, on the National and New York state Registers of Historic Places, with the State's Long Path in Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area.

Bronx County
Bronx RiverAlliance $200,000
The Alliance will maintain the trails and paths associated with the Bronx River and its Greenway through removal of debris, replacement of invasive vegetation with native plants and installation of erosion control measures.

Cattaraugus County
Cattaraugus/Chautauqua Chapter of the N.Y.S. Horse Council $28,600
The project will add two small parking areas in locations along the present and future trail system as well as maintain present trails.

Village of Franklinville $59,467
The Village of Franklinville, in conjunction with the Town of Franklinville, will create a motorized and non-motorized diverse trail linking the Village and Case Lake Park. The project will provide a recreation resource for hikers, pedestrians, equestrians, and bicyclists in the warmer months, and for snowmobiles exclusively in the winter.

Chautauqua County
Ellery Sno-Cruisers $136,000
The grant will enable the not-for-profit club to purchase grooming equipment to build and maintain snowmobile trails in the townships of Ellery, Stockton, Gerry and Ellicott and is part of the state-funded trail system.

Columbia County
The Scenic Hudson Land Trust, Inc. $80,000
The grant will help create a new trail between the Stockport and Greenport Conservation Areas, providing a contiguous link between two of the most significant open space areas in Columbia County, including an ADA accessible boardwalk and path that will take users to the overlook pavilion at Scenic Hudson's newest park located at Stockport Flats.

Delaware County
Delaware Valley Ridge Riders, Inc. $168,556
The grant will go toward the purchase of new equipment to give the club the capabilities needed to groom up and down steep grades in a timely and consistent manner for the 72 miles of trail the club maintains.

Dutchess County
The Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge Co. Inc. $200,000
The Walkway Over the Hudson project seeks to transform the historic Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge into the world's longest and highest pedestrian bridge. The grant will help pay for $250,000 in trail amenities that will enhance the experience of public users of the new park.

Erie County
Western New York Snowmobile Club Of Boston $129,658
The snowmobile club will use the grant to purchase snowmobile trail-grooming equipment.

Town of Grand Island $86,963
The Town of Grand Island will construct a 1,460-foot paved pathway connecting the Island Meadows subdivision to the existing paved trail system in Veteran's Park, increasing accessibility, especially for handicapped residents, to all amenities within Veteran's Park.

Hamilton County
Pleasant Rider Snowmobilers Inc $54,900
The grant will go toward the purchase of equipment for public snowmobile trail maintenance in Lake Pleasant, Hamilton County.

Herkimer County
Salisbury Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club, Inc. $132,782
The Salisbury Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club will purchase equipment to groom and improve 79 miles of heavily utilized, multipurpose, year-round trails in the Southern Adirondack-Mohawk Valley region.

Jefferson County
Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District $107,760
The project is to restore approximately six miles of trails, including improving stream crossings and drainage, on two county forest lots as part of a multi-county trails system.

Village of West Carthage $114,908
The village will expand public and pedestrian access, walkways, and amenities at the South Main Street Boat Launch area, including an asphalt walkway, a picnic shelter, a wood chip wetland trail, a concrete boat launch ramp, an asphalt road and parking area, tree plantings, interpretive panels and signage, and benches.

Lewis County
Lewis County Department of Forestry, Parks and Recreation $110,550
The project will create a Tug Hill Trail System using county reforestation lands, and private land for motorized and non-motorized recreation.

Barnes Corners Sno-Pals, Inc. $37,064
The Barnes Corners Sno-Pals, which maintains over 100 miles of snowmobile trails, will purchase an all-season tractor with a front end loader and rotary cutter to perform all-season trail maintenance.

Livingston County
Town of Conesus $39,440
The Town will improve a trail, install a bridge, construct an observation platform and develop a memorial entrance for the Conesus Inlet Fish and Wildlife Management Area , providing public access to both the lake and management area while having limited impact on the natural resources.

Madison County
Chittenango Polar Bears Snowmobile Club, Inc. $113,600
The club will purchase snowmobile trail grooming equipment to develop and maintain multi-use trails in the Chittenango area.

Monroe County
Town of Greece $43,200
Town of Greece will construct a trailhead and trail system through the historic Junction Lock parcel located adjacent to the Erie Canal, connecting Ridgeway Ave., a major arterial street, providing direct contact to the site's historic structures, including a portion of the original canal bed and the Junction Lock.

Montgomery County
Ful-Mont Snow Travelers, Inc $64,000
The club will replace a 27-year-old-groomer with new, reliable equipment to groom 71 miles of trails on state and private land.

Nassau County
Town of North Hempstead $200,000
As a continuation of the Hempstead Harbor Shoreline Trail, this project will focus on the design and construction of the third and forth segments located along the western shore. Once completed, the trail will extend from the Village of Roslyn at the head of Hempstead Harbor, along the western shoreline of the harbor through the town's Hempstead Harbor Beach Park and continue through the adjacent Morewood Park, through Port Washington to the town dock on Manhasset Bay where it will connect to the Baywalk trail along the Manhasset Bay shoreline through Port Washington North's Baywalk and the Village of Manorhaven's nature preserve and end at the Town's Manorhaven Park.

Oneida County
Town of Kirkland $50,000
The Kirkland Fitness Trail Committee has formed a partnership with the Town of Kirkland to develop a recreational trail on the Chenango Canal Towpath and connecting it with an established trail in a neighboring community.

T.C. Riders Snowmobile Club Inc. $162,800
T. C. Riders Snowmobile Club, Inc. of Camden will purchase trail grooming equipment to maintain 46 miles of public trails providing year-round access to more than 50 square miles of forested terrain in the Tug Hill Plateau.

Ontario County
Ontario County $80,000
The four-fold purpose of the Finger Lakes Trail Spur at Grimes Glen County Park project is to improve accessibility and usability of the trail at Grimes Glen, while increasing the overall connectivity between trail resources in the region.

Orange County
The Delaware and Hudson Canal and Gravity Railroad Conservancy $125,000
The Conservancy will renovate and maintain 12 miles of trail in Orange County, which when completed will be an integral link for a 125 mile long trail from Eddyville, NY to Carbondale, PA, as well as provide numerous opportunities for recreation and links to other trails.

Otsego County
Exeter Trailblazers, Inc $23,200
The club will purchase trail grooming equipment to maintain the snowmobile trails all year round.

Rockland County
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference $150,000
The original section of the Appalachian Trail, the nation's first National Scenic Trail, at Bear Mountain is also the most heavily used and degraded. As part of a larger project to rebuild this historic trail to safely accommodates the hundreds of thousands of users annually, this project will open a three-quarter-mile section originating behind the Bear Mountain Inn.

Palisades Parks Conservancy $120,935
The Palisades Parks Conservancy, Inc., in partnership with the NY-NJ Trail Conference and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, will construct a half-mile accessible trail along the Bear Mountain summit, giving access to an area that is not available to persons with disabilities.

Saratoga County
Town of Halfmoon $200,000
The Town of Halfmoon will construct a second segment of the Champlain Canal Towpath trail.

Ulster County
Mohonk Preserve $100,000
The Carriage Road Bridges Project will install two new bridges on Mohonk Preserve's Bonticou Carriage Road and Cedar Drive Carriage Road to reconnect the 70-mile multi-use recreational Shawangunk Carriage Road system along the Shawangunk Ridge across Mohonk Road - Ulster County Route 6. The bridges will eliminate unsafe at-grade crossings and will significantly improve safety by providing transit via an overpass over the public roadway below for hikers, joggers, bikers, equestrians, cross-ountry skiers, and light duty Mohonk Preserve maintenance and safety vehicles.

John Burroughs Association, Inc. $50,000
Funding will be used to rehabilitate seven existing trails in the 197 acre nature sanctuary. These much needed improvements will provide better access to and use of these recreational trails and bring the increasing numbers of visitors, including young school groups, college students, naturalists, Burroughs scholars, regional and national tourists and local residents, closer to the many natural resources of the sanctuary.

Westchester County
Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct $125,600
This project is to correct an unsafe entrance to the trail in a populated area near a low cost housing where seniors live and leading to two village schools. The trail is at a 20 foot drop from the street corner reached by a steep slope encumbered by discarded cement blocks. The project will call for grading, removing of cement blocks and construction of retaining walls.